Newcastle United, right now, are in a mess.
The club are struggling to sign any more players – and a lot of fans are planning a boycott for the first game of the season against Arsenal.
However, one positive is the return of Sean Longstaff from injury – and he is ready to play a massive role in the Newcastle midfield.
Longstaff only made nine appearances for the Toon last year, but he made a big impression on the Premier League – and drew comparisons with Manchester United legend Michael Carrick.
United have been linked all summer, but Newcastle have not received an acceptable bid for Longstaff.
The reason the Red Devils were interested is because the 21-year-old is calm and composed on the ball – and is not afraid to snap into tackles.
This can be seen in his pass success percentage of 80.9% and he also averages 1.9 tackles per game.
An injury against West Ham United, in March, ended Longstaff’s season, but he has impressed in pre-season, so far, and looks like he will be a crucial player for the Toon this year.
If pre-season is anything to go off – Steve Bruce’s side will likely lineup in a 3-5-2 formation.
Jonjo Shelvey has played as the central midfielder – with Longstaff and Isaac Hayden either side of him.
It seems these two have been given more licence to go forward – and Longstaff scored a brilliant goal against Hibernian in the Toon’s 3-1 win.
Newcastle have problems in other areas of the pitch, but in midfield, they have plenty of energy and creativity – and this midfield three could flourish.
Longstaff, therefore, should be set to play a huge role in Newcastle’s upcoming season.